Monday, February 22, 2010

The Day America Outlawed Democracy


The Day America Outlawed Democracy

The time is past due for America to start connecting the dots regarding our political establishment. It has become increasingly clear that we've reached a political crisis in this country, but contrary to what we're being led to believe, the major division in this country is no longer between liberals and conservatives, but rather, the American people and those we've elected to represent us.

Due to our political indifference, we've allowed the political establishment in this country to lavish upon themselves so many rewards, prerogatives, and political perks that they can no longer identify with the people they're suppose to represent. They've become a class within themselves. Where they were once considered the trusted employees of the American people, they've now become a part of a new American aristocracy. Thus, they now identify much more closely with the rich and powerful - or those they're supposed to be protecting us from - than they do the constituency they're supposed to represent.

So liberals and conservatives alike need to open their eyes. We need to recognize that we're now facing a common foe that has morphed into something that has become a threat to us all. We must also realize that it is essential that we set our respective differences aside - at least temporarily - just long enough to address this common enemy to our way of life.

While liberals and conservatives may disagree on their respective philosophy of governance, we must never confuse that philosophical disagreement with the belief that liberals are any less loyal as Americans, or that conservatives are any less sincere in their desire to make America a better place for us all. As different as the two groups are, in the final analysis, both liberals and conservatives want the very same thing - what is in the best interest of the American people. But that can no longer be said of our political establishment. Their current behavior has clearly demonstrated that their top priority entails feathering their own nests by protecting their true constituents - big business.

They were better able to hide that alliance in the past, but the current geo-economic circumstance has forced them into the open. Thus, the political establishment is now forced to betray their true attitude toward the American people - an "ignorant worker class," with a moral obligation to sacrifice both our families (in war), and wealth (in bailouts), for the personal comfort of the upper class.

That accounts for why the Wall Street bailout sailed through congress like a hot knife through butter, with only perfunctory grumbling from congress for effect, while healthcare reform, the jobs bill, legislation to enhance veterans benefits, and any other legislation aimed at helping the average American has been met with fierce resistance.

It's no accident that the only Obama effort that's being supported by the GOP is his initiative to go to war. The "party of no" eagerly says yes to that, regardless to the cost of (lower and middle class) lives and treasure; nor is it an accident that they completely ignore the fact that even after the useless waste of life and treasure, a victory means that Al Qaeda will simply move on to a different location. They don't have a problem with any of that, because war enriches their constituency, the military/industrial complex.

Neither is it an accident that the rule of law is simply being ignored regarding Bush and Cheney's war crimes, in spite of the fact that it makes America less safe, or the fact that it led directly to the economic hardship currently being suffered by the America people. They don't have a problem with because the political establishment is a class within itself, and it protects its own. That's the one area of agreement that truly seems to be bipartisan.

The reason for that, as I've mentioned in earlier columns, is the new world order is not only geopolitical, but economic in nature. "When the United States had a thriving industrial economy one class complimented the other. Labor was well paid and given the security of knowing that they had a job for life, so they had the confidence to purchased goods that the corporations produced. That allowed the companies that sold the goods to prosper to the benefit of the investor class." But now that U.S. corporations have to compete globally with countries that are paying their workers pennies per day, the American middle class has become a prohibitively expensive liability to America's ability to compete around the world. So now the U.S. government - both Republicans and Democrats - is in the process of addressing that issue by downgrading the standard of living of the American middle class.

The idea of relegating the American people to second class status isn't a new strain of thinking in American politics; it's been around since this nation's founding. It's just that after being shot down during the constitutional convention in lieu of a more egalitarian form of government, previous adherents of this philosophy had the good sense to be more discreet in their efforts.

As I've pointed out before, Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the fiscal conservative philosophy, said the following:

"All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people.... The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government." (Debates of the Federalist Convention May 14-September 17, 1787).

So the fact is, the reason that the political establishment is so willing to throw America under the bus is that the new world order has made it politically expedient to embrace Hamilton's philosophy that lower and middle class Americans shouldn't have a right to self-government in the first place. But since it would be problematic to try to formally take that right away through a constitutional amendment, it's being taken away through legislative procedure and rulings through the Supreme Court.

That's what has led to the current disaffection by both liberals and conservatives toward government. The American people can sense their rights slipping away, but they have yet to come to terms with what is actually going on. They have yet to realize that congressional gridlock is a convenient way of denying them their rights. They have also yet to recognize that the majority in the senate is allowing the minority to abuse of the filibuster procedure because both parties are in collusion. The Republican filibuster provides cover for the Democratic majority for failing to enact, or greatly watering down, legislation being demanded by the people, but neither party wants to enact.

Then on January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court delivered the final blow against the people. In order to insure against any repeat of the 2008 election where the people mounted a grassroots effort over the internet to usurp the power of corporations through campaign funding, the Supreme Court passed what is essentially the modern version of Plessy v. Ferguson, taking away the rights of the people by ruling that the American people and corporations are "separate but equal."

That ruling should serve as a red flag for both liberals and conservatives alike. In 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson was used to undermine the rights of Black people in this country. Now, the current ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee, is being used to undermine the rights of the middle class.

The ruling stands as a perfect metaphor for Jim Crow. But this time it ushers in an era of a diminished American middle class, and the jackboots of the new world order, as it formally arrives at our front door.

Eric L. Wattree

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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